CHOOSING YOUR IDENTITY

CHOOSING YOUR IDENTITY 

Creating a new experience of life

It can often seem like we are not choosing who we are, but rather that we simply are who we are.  You might wonder what it even means to choose your identity.  To begin with your identity is made up.  It is composed of a slew of thoughts, feelings, beliefs and assumptions, many of which you might not even be aware of, which is why it seems that you are not choosing who you are.  However if you take just a little bit of time and come up with a handful of words or phrases that currently describe you, then you will start to get a clearer picture of how you see yourself.  This is important to do if you would like to see that your identity is in fact made up by you (consciously or not) and become more deliberate in the choosing of it for yourself.

Why is your identity so important anyways?  Your identity dictates what actions you will take or not take, what emotions you will have or not have, how much risk or safety you need, how you relate to other people and yourself, the information your body will receive or not receive, what you belief is possible or impossible, and how you view the world and all of its happenings.  I hope you can see that identity is a pretty big deal.  It influences your entire experience of life.  Good news is you are not stuck with the one you have!  Identity in indeed malleable, but you must first realize that it can be changed by you if you so desire.  

Just to be clear there is nothing wrong with any identity.  Choosing one identity over another identity is not better or worse, but rather only provides different experiences for you.  Ultimately you are not any of the identities that you conjure up.  You are that which is before all characteristics and qualities, but that is another conversation.  So make that list of qualities and characteristics that you currently feel like you possess.  What are the primary thoughts and emotions that you experience on a regular basis?  What beliefs do you have that inspire those thoughts and emotions?  How do you imagine other people see/view you?  What do you present to others or the world and how is that different than when you are by yourself?  Get as clear and concise of a picture of who you currently believe or know yourself to be.  Now ponder if there is any way in which you would like to experience something that you are currently experiencing differently.  Would you like to feel different, see yourself differently, relate to others differently, have different opportunities, feel different in your body, make more money, impact others more, etc.?  If the answer is yes then it all begins with a shift in identity.  We can’t experience anything differently until we first become different. 

A NEW YOU 

Bridging the non-real gap

Now that you have gotten clearer on who you currently are, you must also create what you would like your new identity to be.  If you came up with some ways in which you would like to experience life differently than you must ask yourself, “who would I need to be in order to have those experiences?”  What type of person would experience life in the ways that you want to experience it?  Write down whatever those characteristics, qualities, thoughts, and emotions are for someone who would experience what you desire to experience.  Then notice the gap between your current sense of self and the sense of self you need to have in order to experience life in these new ways.  That gap, which really isn’t a gap, but rather only a set of habits based on assumptions of who you are and who you aren’t, and a doing of yourself one way versus another way.  

To bridge the non-real gap we must do, feel and think ourselves like the version of ourselves that we now desire to experience.  We must break the habits of our previous self by laying down the habits of our next self.  This is where people often drop the ball because this takes work and effort.  It will take energy, determination and discipline in order to make the shift because your old way of doing yourself is effortless, routine and predicable.  It takes very little energy.  Building a new self is like a baby building its body.  It takes a ton of energy.  In a way you do become like a baby again.  You are learning and laying down patterns that you have not learned or laid down before.  There will be uncertainty or lack of clarity, a sense like you don’t know where you are going or how to get there.  That is all normal.  You don’t know yet because you haven’t traversed this terrain before.  If you already knew then it wouldn’t be a new version of you.

As always your desire is the guiding light.  The more clear you are in your desire of what you want to be now, the more clear the path will seem to you even if you don’t know what direction is up/down or right/left.  Turning the light up on your desire is also your source of energy.  Without desire we don’t feel much motivation to create or bring new things to light.  With desire we are lit up.  We are motivated, inspired, and take action in the direction of our new found dreams.  Along with creating new behaviors, habits, thoughts, feelings and emotions, there will be a letting go of the old ways of being.  It is like a sweet good-bye.  A good-bye that is done in gratitude for who you’ve been and everything you’ve created from this sense of you.  It’s kind of like selling a car you really love, but you know it’s time for an upgrade because the old one just can’t do all the things you need it to anymore.  You want to have new experiences so it’s time to upgrade, it’s time for a change.  

We are by our very nature creators.  We are the source of our creations.  How do you want to play with the toys in your sandbox today?  How do you want to experience life?  You are the source of it all.  Turn the light up on yourself, see who you are now and create who you need to be in order to experience life how you desire to now.  

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

FROM SPIRITUAL SEEKING TO SPIRITUAL BEING

FROM SPIRITUAL SEEKING TO  SPIRITUAL BEING

Misidentification with the objects of our awareness

Conceptually most all of us know that we are spiritual beings.  We somehow recognize that there is something more to us than flesh, bones and the thoughts we think.  We theoretically understand this, but have difficultly coming from being.  Rather we come from mental concepts and physical sensations, using those as proof of our existence, without really investigating the source of our concepts and sensations.  If we did do a little bit of investigation we would come to see that we are what is aware of the thoughts and the body and everything in between.  We are the being, the awareness, that notices those things, therefore we can’t be them.  It’s kind of like looking at a table and identifying yourself as it.  However you know that you aren’t the table, but rather that you are aware of the table.  The same is true for everything that you are aware of, it’s simply that most of us have misidentified ourselves as the objects of our awareness rather than see ourselves as the being that knows the objects.  

This misidentification with the objects of our awareness is the reason that we spiritually seek.  We seek because we feel that there is something missing.  That something which feels like it’s missing only feels that way because we have placed our focus and sense of self onto things that are not our self.  This leaves a feeling of a void, an emptiness of sorts, or a longing for something that we know exists, but that we just can’t seem to figure out how to get, realize or know it.  We somehow feel separate from and that feeling of separateness comes from thinking that we are an object of our awareness.  So we seek to find and feel whole, because we have misidentified ourselves as a part.  This seeking for wholeness or oneness is the core of the healing or spiritual journey.  

It is not bad or wrong to seek.  In fact the seeking impulse can provide us with the experiences we need in order to remember what we are and the skills, knowledge, and awareness to realize what is already here.  When we realize what is already here spiritual seeking shifts into spiritual being.  There is however a bit of a dog chasing its tail scenario that can happen on the spiritual path if you are not clear in your intentions.  What I mean is that if you don’t have genuine desire to know yourself, you can get lost in all of the glitter and sparkle of the spiritual journey.  You can fall into chasing more objects of physical and metaphysical pleasure, rather than keeping your eye on the ball.  You get lost in the game and take detours on the path that bring you back to where you started rather than in the direction of spiritual being.  Purifying your desire to know yourself is the brightest light you can shine on your path.   

SILENCE IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND 

Just Be 

Somewhere some great master said that ‘silence is the greatest teacher.”   I couldn’t agree more.  To our busy mind with all of its thoughts this seems like a strange impossibility.  How could you ever learn anything from silence, after all there is nothing there?  Don’t you need content or information in order to learn?  This is how we are conditioned yes, but this conditioning has also brought us to the state of being we are currently experiencing as life.  One where we are constantly searching for more content, more answers, more reasons, which we think will provide us with the clarity of being we desire, but all they ever do is send us down more and more rabbit holes and leave us feeling overwhelmed.  Yet we continue to function in this way hoping that somewhere we will find the light at the end of hole.  

The light we are seeking lives in the silence of our own minds.  Getting ourselves to be innerly silent can be a mighty task, which we why we must have such a strong desire to know ourselves in the first place.  If we don’t then we will simply continue to allow ourselves to be distracted in and by thoughts, feelings, sensations and any other content we can find to latch our awareness onto.  The mind really, really loves content.  It is, its jam.  It’s bread and butter.  It’s life force.  Without content the mind feel useless, and because we are merged with the mind and its content as who we are, then we personally feel useless.  Other experiences that arise in silence are boredom, frustration or irritation, loneliness, restlessness, purposeless, and others.  

I have found that there are stages to the “getting innerly silent process.”  When you are first learning how to get silent by sitting or lying down and just beginning to let go of some of the content, taking a few breaths, you start feeling some sense of relaxation.  This typically feels good to us.  If however you go a bit deeper into the letting go process, sitting or lying longer, you will find lots of areas where you don’t want to let go.  You may notice this as tension in areas of the body, sensations getting louder, mental tension, thinking and being lost in the thoughts, scattered, restlessness, or feeling emotions.  Once you move through that stage, I often find the next stage to be an insightful stage.  This is where you still aren’t completely focused on being yet, but you are less fixated with the objects of your awareness.  There is now more space for you to see things from a larger perspective.  You might get insights, intuitions or be able to see your patterns or habits more clearly.  Once you move through that, I find the next stage to be simply noticing that you are, that you be.  There may still be thoughts, feelings or sensations, but you are no longer focused on them.  You are only focused on that you be.  This is often peaceful, restful and the tendency is to want to stay here, to be absorbed in simply being.  Sometimes this stage will come with feelings of bliss, energy or an increased alertness or wakefulness.  None of those things are required, but they can be present.  

The longer you allow yourself to be present to “that you be” the more you come to know yourself and less identified you are with the objects of your awareness.  I have this to be the most direct path to self-realization.  Try it out.  It takes desire, commitment and some discipline, but the rewards are epic.  It’s the end of spiritual seeking and the beginning of spiritual being.  

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder Colorado

ACCEPTING THE MISSION

ACCEPTING THE MISSION 

Get aligned with the call

Somewhere and at sometime we all accepted the mission for our unique spec of consciousness (aka our soul) to incarnate and have a human experience.  Most all of us have forgotten that we accepted such a mission, but the evidence is in the fact that we are currently human.  Some might question or argue as to whether it was a choice to come on this mission or if we just somehow ended up here, if it’s even a mission at all, or if we are even human!  These are some good questions to ask yourself.  All I can say is that to me it feels like a mission.  I remember being 6 or 7 years old and having a crystal clear knowing that I came to this human experience on a very specific mission and I was set to focus only on that.  That sense of being on a mission has never left me.  That’s not to say that I knew what I was going to “do” while I was here.  The activities, roles and jobs were not apparent at the time, but rather I simply knew that I was here to be some sort of light and force of love on this planet.  

From that very young age something felt very vibrationally “off” here on this planet to me.  It was like the people of this planet were missing something, some awareness of something, like they didn’t recognize themselves, even though I didn’t have those words to describe it at the time.  I just knew that I felt a sense of what I would now call a vibrational misalignment.  Some people experience this as a feeling of not fitting in here, others experience it as being extra sensitive or chronically sick or in pain, some feel massive confusion and like they just can’t make sense of it all.  This kind of vibrational misalignment can be quite intense for people, even making some people completely nonfunctional.  How I have come to understand it now is that there are a large group of souls that have incarnated into this human experience from other vibratory frequencies.  These beings came here, and continue to come here, to support and assist the native people of this planetary frequency in some specific way that is needed or has been requested.  Essentially these beings answered a call.  The thing is as soon as they incarnate into this human experience they forget where they came from, who they are and they have the full on experience of being human just like everyone else on this planet.  They often forget that they were called here and what their mission here is.  This all seems like an unfair party trick, yet these seem to be the current rules of the game.  

For many of these beings the incongruence is so strong that they feel resistance, irritation or a general non-acceptance of this human experience, and they might not even know why they feel this way.  Some don’t want to live or they count the moments until they can transition out of this experience.  I have found that a fundamental first step in remembering your calling, that which brought you here in the first place, is accepting that you are currently having this human experience.  You are not required to like it, but the less you avoid it and the more accepting you become of it, the more you remember why you are here.   

REMEMBERING THE MISSION 

Be who you are

You may never be totally clear on the what’s and how’s of your mission, but you can get clearer and clearer on the why.  I find that the how’s and the what’s tend to change and evolve, but the why tends to stay fairly stable, shifting only to be brighter or more coherent as you get clearer on it.  That’s because the why is not a thing, but rather a vibrational state of being.  It is the frequency of home, of you, of where you rest and what you know beyond and/or before this human incarnational experience.  It is the essence of the what’s and the how’s.  The thing is that if you are in resistance to this human life than everything is murkier.  It’s already hard to remember, but when you add on layers of resistance, it’s nearly impossible to hear the subtleties of your soul speak to you.  

You might be curious as to where you are resisting this human experience and/or how to fully accept it.  Noticing resistance is sometimes obvious and other times a bit tricky.  On an overt level it is the experience of not wanting things to be the way that they are.  You might manage this by avoiding certain things or people, avoiding potential confrontation, complaining, playing the victim role, pretending everything is perfect when you don’t feel like it truly is, or getting angry when things don’t turn out the way you want.  Subtler levels of non-acceptance can come through not forgiving others or self because it’s “justified” not too, feeling dissatisfaction even when life is good, not feeling open or available to self or others, participating with life but secretly wishing it was different or over, or wanting to be somewhere other than where you are.  In order to accept life you must discover where you aren’t accepting it.  Again it doesn’t mean you have to like it, but only that you let it be as it is.  

In the process of letting life be as it is a beautiful thing occurs, you become open for the business of your calling again.  It’s like when you are in resistance mode your antenna is broken, but as soon as you move into acceptance your antenna starts working again.  That antenna is your be-line into your home frequency.  Essentially you are able to channel yourself again.  Through this you begin to feel and remember yourself.  You come to hear the call that brought you here to begin with and your heart realigns with itself.  You might still not know the what’s and how’s, but you realize that those are revealed to you as you need to know them.  What matters is that you know, feel and hear your why.  

When we let go of our insistences of what we wished was here that isn’t, and open to what is here instead, only then can we really impact the picture of life.  Only then can we really feel good and be of service.  Only then can we become channels of our home frequency and permeate our experience with it.  This is what it is to answer the call.  The call is for us to be ourselves and share that.  Not some twisted or distorted version of ourselves, but the pure unfiltered clear expression of our unique spec of consciousness that is currently located inside of this human form.  You are not too far away from home, home is wherever you are.  You take and bring home with you everywhere you go.  There is nowhere that home is not if you are there.  Allow your home frequency to be here.  That’s what was called for.  That’s what was asked.  That’s what’s needed.  It’s not something outside of or other than you.  It’s you, as you most naturally and effortlessly are.  Accept the call, remember the mission and get aligned with yourself.  

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

CLEAR YOUR SH*T OUT

CLEAR YOUR SH*T OUT 

Be a vessel for source

We all have shit.  Lots and lots of shit.  We are full of it.  Most are solely consumed in it and don’t even know it.  It is the source of our dissatisfaction, our disempowerment and our suffering.  So what is all of this shit and where does it come from?  It is all of the stories, beliefs, opinions, ideas, judgments, and everything we think we know about stuff and life.  Essentially it’s everything we make up about who we think we are, what life is and the rightness or wrongness of what’s happened or is currently happening to us or in the world.  The source of all of our shit is our own thoughts and beliefs about stuff and the societal conditioning and norms that we learn from others and take on as our own.  We are often extremely convicted in our shit.  It gives us a sense of personal individual identity.  To let go of it means that we have to admit defeat to the fact that we actually don’t know and accept that which often feels unacceptable to us.  For many this is a tall order and most would rather keep their experience of dissatisfaction, disempowerment and suffering than dismantle their personal ego.  

Outside of the obvious, and perhaps it’s all obvious, you may wonder why anyone would want to clear out their shit and give away everything they think they know about life.  Well besides knowing your power, feeling fulfilled and ending suffering for yourself, it is also the gateway to being a vessel for source and living joyfully in levity and service.  When we empty out all of the shit inside of us, our mind and body become a clear container for life to be as it and move through us in the most precise, gracious and graceful ways.  It is only from this state of emptiness of self that we can truly be of service to others and life without any personal agenda whatsoever.  It is a state of true allowance and a giving to, rather than attempting to get anything at all to happen or be any way other than it is.  To our minds this might feel or seem like lack of progress or forward momentum, but to all of our souls it’s a welcome home.  

All progress is to get to better or get to perfection, but when you accept that as the current state then all of the sudden there is no where to get.  You’ve instantly arrived where you have been trying to get.  Again most people’s minds will fight this tooth and nail because it means that whatever you’ve thought about something, some injustice you feel you’ve seen or experienced, something you’ve perceived as not right, must be forgiven and allowed to return to its natural state of wholeness within your mind.  Our minds experience this as failure and yet paradoxically we become more free and in connection with all of life when we stop fighting.  This is healing, and beyond that, this is healed.   

THE JOY OF BEING A VESSEL 

Surrendering self

There is tremendous joy in surrendering to what is and becoming an empty vessel of pure service.  To give your life over to that sourceful intelligence that created the entire universe, that put galaxies in place and planets into orbit, which sees and knows way beyond what the human mind does, relieves so much pressure on your system.  For some this might not seem all that exciting on initial thought.  To give away our agendas of all the things we think we want, that feel important to us, and simply be moved by the source of life itself can feel scary to the mind.  We may feel loss of control.  We might have thoughts that we will be purposeless if we don’t have a clear trajectory of what is next.  We often fear the quiet, the silence or non-activity because it seems to threaten our worth and sense of contribution, safety or survival.  Most people lack trust in the silence so they fill up the spaciousness of their mind with as many thoughts as possible about everything that has happened, is happening or might happen.  In this way we can’t hear in the silence, and feeling nothing is there, we busy ourselves as much as they can so that we don’t feel the uncomfortableness of the fertile spontaneous present arising of the mystery of silence.

Much to your surprise you might discover that on an appearance level your life doesn’t look that much different when you give away all the stuff inside of you that keeps you full of your own self.  You may live in the same place, have the same job, be engaged in the same relationships, yet even though things look the same on the outside, where you are coming from on the inside is completely different.  Coming from your current thoughts and beliefs about stuff versus coming from pure emptiness that remains when you give away all of that stuff, generates a completely different experience even it looks the same from the outside.  The level of presence, connection, ease, purity, depth of impact and non-attachment you feel is worlds different than what most people are experiencing inside of their minds in their day to day experience.  

There really is nothing greater that I’ve found than giving away the personal mind stuff and being open to whatever is present.  To be available in this way allows you to feel rested inside of every single moment.  There is no time or place where you need to leave this rest to go outside of yourself and meet something other than you.  All of you is included inside of the moment when you drop all of your ideas, thoughts and agendas about what’s happened or is happening.  Here you experience magic in action, because your mind doesn’t have it figured out yet, but somehow that which knows all moves through you.  What comes through is stuff you wouldn’t have even been able to figure out or make up.  You know, but don’t know how you know.  You do, but don’t really know what you are doing.  Yet eternal yumminess is all you ever experience no matter how things unfold and you realize your tiny little person mind could never take credit for it all.  This is mastery of the yourself to the point where you are willing to surrender yourself completely to all of you rather than just what you think you are.  This brings an indescribable peace to your experience because you no longer have any personal attachment to anything that happens, and paradoxically in giving yourself away you finally experience the freedom you’ve always innately longed for.

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

UTILIZING IMAGINATION

UTILIZING IMAGINATION

Giving non-reality form

Our imagination is the most potent creative tool that we have.  It far surpasses any mechanical device or conceptual knowledge we have in regards to bringing forth our creations into this world.  Without utilizing our imagination we simply create the same things that are known to us over and over again.  We then wonder why things look, feel and behave the same way and/or why our own patterns seem to never change.  What we often fail to recognize is that everything that is created has been imagined by someone at some point in time.  Imagination is the birthplace of all creation and the seed to transformation of all existing forms.  Part of what caps our imagination is that we have beliefs that say only x, y or z is possible.  Anything outside of our current beliefs is deemed impossible by our mind, and if we stretch too far, it’s just called fantasy or “made up non-reality.”

But what if made up non-reality is just the future of what is to come into creation.  I’d imagine that the person who created the airplane, the first MRI, the cell phone, the computer and on and on, had a hell of an imagination.  They would have to because they brought into existence creations that previously where uncreated.  Whether we are tapping into the collective unconscious and connecting with information contained there, or if we are simply making it all up in our own minds, we are bringing forth novelty into form.  This is the power of imagination.  Now it doesn’t stop at imagination.  If you want to make physical your imagination then there is work to be done.  Without the work imagination is just wishful thinking.  Physical manifestation requires output.  It requires taking action on what you envision, desire and dream of. 

I find that people are often either wonderful imagineers, but lack follow through in bringing their creations to life, or people are great doers, but don’t feel like they have much creative potential.  It can be easy to fall into thinking about stuff incessantly without following through on it, and equally easy to constantly be doing stuff without any time given to imaging new possibilities.  However both of these qualities are necessary in order to bring imagination to life and new and exciting manifestations into form.  This is after all how we up level our human experience.  The most important and key ingredient here is that you have to believe what you imagine is possible.  You don’t have to know how to do it, you just have to believe that it can be done.  I find this to be the bridge between imagination and action.  

IMAGINATION & SELF-DEVELOPMENT 

Creating new patterns

One of the overlooked areas is how we can use our imagination for self-development.  The same principles from above apply, however we utilize them in a more internal way.  Rather than focusing on something we want to create in our outer environment the focus shifts to our inner environment.  What new aspects, patterns or ways of being do we want to bring to life?  We can develop and recreate ourselves over and over again.  It’s unlikely that you possess all of the same characteristics that you did when you were 6 or 16 or 26.  Perhaps some things feel the same, but much has been altered, added or upgraded.  How we most often change aspects of ourselves comes through experiences that we have.  We learn through experiences and overtime we develop different ways of thinking, seeing and behaving.  For most people it seems that this process “just happens.”  What I mean by this is that most people are not actively pursuing change just for the sake of it and because they see everything as already perfect in themselves and their existence.  Rather life seems to give us experiences and then we develop through those experiences.  One of the cool things about imagination is that comes prior to our experience, not after it.  Imagining ourselves in novel ways, and changing our identity and the ways we engage with life can come before we have an experience that kind of “forces” us to change.  We don’t have to wait for life to hand us experiences (ie. opportunities) in order to up level ourselves.  We can simply choose to do it through using our imagination.  Once again there will need to be follow up with actions, and the fundamental belief that we can change is the foundational block that allows the entire picture to be built.    

You might be wondering what does all of this look like?  Well it’s really not that complex.  It starts with imagination.  What do you desire, envision and dream of for yourself?  How would you like to feel?  How would you like to be perceived or seen?  How would you like to behave, act or be?  Some of us are very good at doing this and for others it feels more challenging.  The challenge comes because we often feel like the same person because we are generating the same thoughts and feelings about ourselves.  This gives us the illusion of sameness and/or solidity in our identity.  However nothing is solid and everything can reorganize the energy of its form, therefore your identity is malleable.  As you begin the process of envisioning your most optimal configuration of self see where your impossibility beliefs arise.  Maybe you come up with a few things that feel alterable, but some that seem unalterable.  Simply take note.  Go to the edge of what your mind will still accept as possible.  This is where you can play.  If you perceive it to be impossible then you will have nowhere to go and you won’t take action on it.  Therefore go the edge of possibility and then start taking actions in alignment with whatever it is you come up with.  For example maybe one of things you desire is to feel joy.  The obvious action to this would be to activate more joy daily in your life.  Perhaps you want to become more intuitive.  Take actions that align with you in ways that you feel would help you bring your intuition to life.  Maybe you want to be seen as powerful, take actions that align with you feeling powerful.  This might mean changing the way you dress, how you drive, the places you eat, where you shop, the tone of your voice, the things you have in your house, and on and on.  This is a process, but with imagination and action you can become anew over and over again.  You can recreate yourself and all of your patterns.  Nothing is solid or fixed no matter how long you’ve been operating that way.  Nothing is irreversibly engrained.  

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

GOING WITH LIFE

GOING WITH LIFE 

Separation to liberation

We spend an awful lot of energy keeping ourselves separate from life, understandably so.  We are given a name, develop characteristics, preferences, likes, dislikes, roles, habits and patterns of thinking and behaving that create an identity of who we come to know ourselves as.  An identity that seems like a separate person who is distinct from other persons.  We have functional control over this physical body, we sense through it, and we assume that we are located inside of it.  We believe the information that our senses give us and what our thoughts tell us as fact.  We don’t recognize that we are what is aware of the sensations or thoughts, and not the sensations or thoughts themselves.  Said another way we become our experience rather than recognizing we are what is aware of our experience.  All of this reinforces our sense of separateness from awareness rather than one with it.  We feel powerless to something that seems other than us and find ourselves kind of at odds with life.  

When we feel at odds it’s like we are always working against something and there is a sense of hardness that comes with it.  It’s the feeling that there is you and then there is this other thing, object, or person, which you have to work with to do something to.  Like this other thing, object, or person is separate and you have to maintain that separateness.  If you decided to make a bold move one day and didn’t maintain that separateness, all of life would flow and you would recognize that you can pay attention to content (i.e. sensations & thoughts) or you can pay attention to the fact that you are aware while all the content comes and goes.  What is important here is that you would get that you aren’t what you experience, but rather you are what is aware of the experience.  You would feel freedom instantly rather than the bound-ness of maintaining separation, but this freedom of rejoining yourself feels chaotic, destabilizing and unknown to your current sense of being a separate person with the identity that you have created as yourself.

To go with life rather than feeling at odds, or like you have to go to work on it by attempting to do something to it, is to stop fighting anything.  It’s to end the thought that anything needs to be different.  It is the cessation of the idea that there is somewhere else to get to where you will feel amazing and where all of your prayers are answered.  There is no location that exists other than where you are.  The freedom you seek is contained inside this moment and every moment.  You will not ever arrive somewhere other because there is no other and there is no out there.  At some point we must stop running from thing to thing to thing hoping to find relief and answers.  There is nothing out there. 

ENDING NEEDS 

Arriving in the present

Part of maintaining separation is the illusion of needs.  When we believe ourselves to be a separate person we feel as though we have a lot of needs and that we somehow we have to work to get them met.  However as we merge back into ourselves, into non-separation, we realize that all needs are met because everything is gotten.  Meaning life has its own back.  It’s completely taken care of.  It’s fulfilled and all set.  When we are in contact with ourselves we know this, and when we are disconnected we don’t know it.  To be free of needing anything is to be truly free.  You lose all agenda that might have subtle underpinnings in your subconscious.  You can just be because there isn’t anything pulling you out of yourself to go and get or figure out.  Everything is also known even though paradoxically your mind knows nothing.

There are a few fundamental points to emphasize here in arriving where you are and the cessation of needs.  One is a foundational acceptance that absolutely nothing needs to change or be different than it is.  Along the same lines it would suffice to say that all is well just as it is.  Creating this as the container for your mind allows your mind to relax its incessant attempts to hook into thoughts in order to do or figure out something that it perceives to be other than itself.  There might still be thoughts, but you simply notice them rather than become them.  The next piece is giving yourself permission to not have to know and be in the space of the unknown, which is another term for the present moment.  When we arrive here to the present moment nothing is known and everything is revealed.  Our minds tend not to easily surrender themselves because the job of our mind is to maintain “known-ness”, identity and separation.  To give away what we think we know renders our mind useless and minds like to be used.  From the perspective of our mind “unknown” equals the experience of confusion.  This is one of our least favorite states of being, however learning to be good with confusion without attempting to get rid of it by making something certain again, is the gateway into now and to going with life.

To go with life is to know your freedom and experience it.  It’s to no longer be at odds with anything.  It’s to no longer perceive separation.  It’s to no longer control the happenings of life.  It’s to no longer insist that anything, including yourself, be any certain way other than what it is.  The experience of this is rested while awake.  The experience of this is peace.  It is not an outside job, it’s an inner one.  It’s not far fetched or out of reach, it’s all already here.  There is no distance to traverse, no progress that needs to be made, and there’s nothing more that you need to get or figure out first.  Available in this moment is liberation.  It requires nothing to be different than it is right now.  You don’t need to be more worthy than you already are.  You don’t need to love yourself more first.  Stop trying to get somewhere so that you can arrive and be where you are already.  You will not recognize wholeness and perfection somewhere out there at a future date if you don’t recognize it now.  Liberation is available, “achievable” and is the natural state.  It requires nothing to be done in order to “get” it.  The only sacrifice, if you want to call it that, is giving away your current state of everything you think you know.  What we think we know is actually confusion and what we perceive to be unknown and therefore confusing is truth and freedom.  

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

LETTING PEOPLE HAVE THIR EXPERIENCE

LETTING PEOPLE HAVE THEIR EXPERIENCE

Ending control

We tend to be really good at trying to control life.  One of our most favorite ways to do this is through attempting to control ourselves or others in effort to make things amiable and peaceful.  In part this tendency is born out not wanting to see, or be the elicitor, of suffering and distress in another person.  The other part is that it creates a sense of external safety and security for us when everyone is happy.  As an effect of this we learn to not fully express ourselves, make things ok that really aren’t ok, not say or do what is true for us, and walk on the eggshells of life trying not to create too much distress or suffering in the experience of those around us.  This helps us feel like a “nice or good” person and like we won’t be left, abandoned, cast out or hated by others.  It keeps us feeling like we belong and like we will have our basic human needs met for survival and connection because people will like us.  This however comes at tremendous cost.  Cost to our own energy system because it’s draining to not be ourselves, and this drain on our energy system effects our physical, emotional and mental health.  That equates to not being able to maximally utilize your body, mind and life to play and be of service.  There are also costs in terms of learning for self and others.  When we control ourselves or try to control another person’s experience, we delay or lose out on development steps or stages in our personal and soul evolution.  We also don’t get to be mirrors for others assisting them in their growth.  

There is no denying that feeling bad at any level of our being sucks.  Suffering and distress is not a walk in the park.  It makes sense that we want to avoid and move in any direction but towards it.  While I believe that we can learn and grow without suffering, it currently tends to be part of the experience of learning for most.  Many of us will choose our own suffering over seeing another person suffer.  We will mold ourselves any which way we need to in order to try to take away, or not be the seeming source of suffering from someone, particularly someone we love.  Even though this seems incredibly honorable and kind, it robs people from fully having their experience.  Our addiction to fixing, alleviating or avoiding suffering and distress does not allow people to have their experience, whatever that experience might be.  This doesn’t in any way mean that you don’t lend a helping hand or words of kindness to someone who needs it, but rather that you don’t try to control their experience of their experience.  When we can fully be with our experience, liberation ensues.  We don’t end suffering by trying to manipulate people’s experience of it, but rather by helping to usher them through it.  Assistance and support in the ways that feel authentic and true are always in alignment, but it is not your responsibility to fix how someone feels.  It is not your job to make people feel differently than they do.  Notice where your own uncomfortableness with other people’s uncomfortableness comes in and runs the show of your words, actions and the ways you do or don’t express yourself.  Recognize where you might feel threatened if someone doesn’t feel good around you.  These are the indicators that you are hijacked by your own emotions, and whatever your actions are in the moment are not from coming from alignment, but rather from your own uncomfortablenesses and sense of threat. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CARE ABOUT OTHERS? 

Moving beyond manipulation

This might all create some sense of confusion for you around what it means to care about others.  We are quite conditioned to believe that caring about others means that we help them feel a certain way about themselves or have certain experiences.  This assumes that we have some type of control over others, their free will in choosing their state of being and that somehow we know best.  It creates a power dynamic, which typically goes unseen, but can be felt as a subtle tension in the field of you and them.  It may also show up as a feeling of disempowerment, inferiority, distance or uncertainty that is is temporarily satiated externally by another, but isn’t sourced from your own knowing and therefore comes with subtle feelings of mistrust or instability.  

What if caring about others simply meant that you are without agenda in relationship with other.  To be a container of acceptance and love for whatever is present.  To not take anything as a personal insult or threat.  To not run or move away from anything and also not fix anything.  To not hold on or insist that anything stay, go or change out of your own desire for it be a certain way.  What if this is what it means to care rather than trying to make people happy and give them what you think they want so that they feel good and un-triggered, and you feel safe.  That, by the way, is a recipe for stagnation, lack of intimacy, and suffering if you ask me.  Again I am not suggesting that you not do or say things that are authentic acts of caring for you and that you desire to do, but rather that you stop protecting yourself and others in order to avoid unpleasantness.  What if transmutation of suffering occurs through allowing it rather than trying to get rid of it?  I get this is radical for most people and yet this is what healing (i.e. wholeness) is.  In order to come to know our wholeness we must include all, allow all and be with all, even the unpleasantries that we try to ignore, smash or manipulate out of existence.  

You could say that we live in a sea of manipulation of sorts.  Manipulating ourselves, others and buying into all of the manipulation of media, schools, healthcare system and such in order to feel as good as possible.  Not all manipulation is negative, but I do believe that it’s important to be intentional in its use.  Is it used to help one know that one is the source of all experiences?  That one is in charge of one’s own self?  If not you become reliant on external sources of manipulation to feel certain ways rather than moving through all of your life experiences that are there to guide you into greater self-knowing and self-sourcing.  

Letting people have their experience is caring about them even if that means that they will experience things that don’t feel good.  It’s ok to not feel good sometimes.  It’s ok for others to not feel good sometimes.  There is so much rapid learning that can occur when we stop trying to control life.  When we simply allow the truth of what is in our experience to be expressed we create liberation for everyone even if it doesn’t feel like it right away.  It’s ok to feel shaky, scared and frightened that you might lose something you love dearly if you be yourself and act authentically.  However you might also be surprised at how your fears don’t always live themselves out how you imagine they might.  The path takes courage and trust that all is well despite our experience of it.  

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration

WHAT DO YOU SERVE?

WHAT DO YOU SERVE?

Living devoted

So much of our lives we live on automatic pilot.  We go through the motions of our days without much thought as to why we are doing what we are doing.  We simply do the things we think we need to do in order to make life happen.  By the end of our day we only hope that we got everything done just to wake up and do it all over again.  In this way we aren’t living intentionally, but rather only to survive.  While this is valid, it doesn’t do much for us in terms of feeling soulfully aligned, fulfilled and like we are completing the mission for our existence.  Instead we feel like we are on a treadmill that we can’t get off of because the stuff of life doesn’t stop happening.  Eventually we get tired, then exhausted, yet we continue to focus on the stuff of life rather than on why we even exist in the first place.

What we serve is what we focus our time, energy and attention on.  Most of us have aspirations to serve something great.  Examples of something great would be serving love, joy, freedom, truth, peace, or unity.  While many of us might have the aim to serve these things, what most of us end up of serving is our to do list, our emotional states, our frustrations, our limitations, our judgments, our preferences, and our pleasures or comforts.  We make these things primary in our life rather than what it is we say or think we desire to make primary or serve.  For example say we feel frustrated about something.  We tend to focus our energy on the state of being frustrated and what we are frustrated about, rather than on being or feeling peace, which is what we might ideally like to think that we serve.  Or say we have 30 things on our to do list for the day and feel overwhelmed.  We then keep our feelings of overwhelm in the forefront, rather than focusing on joy.  One more example is that we might lose ourselves inside of pleasurable sensations or comfort that may actually be limiting, rather than conjuring up the energy to focus on freedom.  

In order to live intentionally devoted to what it is you consciously want to serve requires that you give away your own personal life with all of your preferences and the ways you think/want life to be.  99%, or maybe even 100% of our frustrations have to do with life not looking, feeling or being the way we want it to look, feel or be.  However if it is no longer about us, but only about what we serve, it cuts out all the b.s. and confusion.  Life becomes very uncomplicated when it is no longer about all of your personal preferences and desires being met, but rather it’s about the reason why you exist, which for most people is lives along the lines of serving love, joy, freedom, truth, peace, or unity, and helping others know or experience this too. 

GIVING AWAY YOUR SELF

Moving beyond self-indulgence

In order to move beyond our constant self-indulgence in our own preferences, needs, wants, desires, emotional states and thoughts, something has to be even more important than us.  This isn’t to dismiss our own inherent value or worth, but rather to make it not so important.  There is a development move, stage or step so to speak, from making your self value important, to simply accepting it and understanding that it is.  See the paradox is that when we understand, know and accept our own inherent value or worth, all of our own “stuff” doesn’t really take up space inside of us anymore.  We don’t need to focus on ourselves.  This frees up our internal space to align with our mission, why we exist, and serving that which we desire to serve rather than our own little personal world stuff.  

Some people might call this ego death, but it really isn’t as dramatic as spiritual people tend to make it out to be.  It’s just a shift in focus.  That focus is from your personal life and all of its details and perceived demands being central, to making what you serve to be central.  It’s also easy to know your purpose, mission or what you really want to serve.  It’s not something that you do or even what you are doing now, but rather it’s what you want people to get by your existence.  It’s what you would want everyone in the world to know if you died tomorrow.  You can ask yourself the question, “If I died tomorrow what would I want every child, woman, man, animal, etc. to know, experience or feel?”  What imprint, information or feeling do you want every person that you interact with to get from you?  What quality or energetic vibration do you desire that everything in creation experiences?  What kind of world do you want to live in?  You must be what you want yourself and others to experience.  

In giving away yourself you might be a little cranky and put up a bit of fight.  You might feel sad or like a death of sorts, as the focus on your personal dreams perishes.  However you will open into something more magnificent that it will be easy to forget your crankiness.  Be clear though that what you open up into is not finally getting what you want, which is often what people think is the spiritual reward for surrendering the self.  Rather you open into the larger mission of which you are a part of and for which there is so much more support for, than whatever it is you are trying to do on your own, but again it’s not about you.  One more time be clear this is not a recipe for things happening how you prefer them to happen.  There will still be hard work and showing up, probably way more than you currently do.  It also doesn’t mean that your body changes, sensations go away, or that situations or people in your life change.  Those things might happen, but this isn’t about them happening.  It’s only about you aligning with why you exist and opening yourself to serve that.  While you still may not have what you want, living aligned and serving what you desire to serve is actually a 1000 times more rewarding than serving yourself, and a bit relieving because it’s finally not about you.  

There is a choice to make and it’s one that you must consciously choose, and continue to choose over and over again until you’ve got it.  That choice is what you serve.  This is what you focus on, what you tune your self to, what you put in the forefront over anything that appears in your experience.  That choice creates a developmental shift from what we might call a pseudo self-empowerment into the dissolution of self, and thus self-importance.  Said another way it’s simply growing up.  While it’s an important development step to become a self, it’s also important to realize that you’re not.

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

NOTHING IS A BIG DEAL

NOTHING IS A BIG DEAL 

From big to not big

Nothing is a big deal.  That is a bold statement.  Imagine for a moment what it would feel like to claim that for yourself.  As you do you might initially feel relief, but then you may also notice that some things feel really big.  Things that feel too significant, too important or that you value too much to not be a big deal.  In order to really claim that nothing is a big deal would mean that all experiences you’ve had up to this point and all that you will have in the future, are not as significant as you might make them out to be.  That would burst a lot of bubbles in all kinds of ways.  In the most positive light you would not experience anything to be stressful anymore.  Likely you would feel a lasting levity like none you have ever known before.  On the other hand, what might feel more negative to you, is that it would also require you to let go of some of the things that give you a sense of worth, purpose, rightness, validation or fairness, and some ideas you value as special.  You would also have to give away fear and worry, which provide you with a sense of control over your experience.  In this way you would take some hits to your identity as certain experiences become less significant and you may feel more powerless, out of control, and/or confused about what matters.

When you come from the frame of mind that nothing is a big deal you nearly automatically become more allowing and accepting of whatever your experience is/was.  You let things, experiences and people come and go as they please.  You attach less to what happens in any scenario.  You feel relaxed and get a taste of freedom.  Despite all of this we still tend to make some things a big deal.  We choose charge, seriousness and our story of bigness of whatever is occurring, over feeling relaxed, at ease and free.  Then, kind of innocently, we wonder why we don’t feel good.  We genuinely can’t figure out why we don’t sleep well, digest well or experience ease in our body.  It’s a mystery to us.  We can’t seem to make the connection.  

How we are is what our experience is.  There is no difference or separation.  As we change, our experience changes with us because our experience is always reflecting us no matter how we are being.  Sometimes it can feel like quite a challenge to change our minds about something.  There can be a whole well of inner resistance to go from seeing something as a really big deal to seeing it as not a big deal.  Other times it is very quick and easy to make the transition.  It’s a matter of how much significance we place on something, how much of our identity is wrapped into our story of whatever is, and how much we want to attempt to not feel powerless and stay in control of whatever happened or is happening.  

EFFORTLESS GRATITUDE 

Caring without agenda

When we look at life and see the experiences of it as not such a big deal we effortlessly open into gratitude for what is.  A levity and simplicity arises when we aren’t indulging our energy and awareness into our story and feelings of bigness of whatever is occurring.  From that simplicity we appreciate more what’s here in the state, configuration or organization that it’s in.  When all of the experiences we’ve had and all the things we value aren’t such a big deal, we can more easily participate with life.  We enjoy more thoroughly what is here, and our enjoyment of what is, is gratitude.  People sometimes ask me how they can open their hearts more.  One of the ways to do so is to enjoy yourself and enjoy your life no matter what is.  Enjoyment is the expression of gratitude and that is a state of open heartedness.  In order to enjoy life we have often have to make the things of life a little (or a lot) less of a big deal.  

Some people may interpret not making things a big deal as not caring or being careless.  To that I would say that in order to care about something you have to enjoy it, be grateful for it and also let it be free or let it go.  That’s love.  For example if you value life then you have to enjoy it, feel gratitude for it and let it be lived rather than controlled.  The controlling of what we value (which is often confused for caring) squashes all joy out of whatever it is we value and the paradox is the we are the one doing the controlling even though it often seems external or other to us.  The more we control, the less we feel joy and gratitude for what is.  This also tends to be when we perceive things as a big deal.  Big deal usually means to us that we perceive a potential or actual threat (loss) or success (gain), something requires more energy than we want to give to it and we tend have a lot of charge or feelings around the situation.  This becomes an ideal environment for us to attempt to control outcomes, attach to things working out a certain way, and feel anxious or stressed about what will be.

The less charge, seriousness, specialness, control, fear and worry we have in relationship to the experiences of life the more caring we are.  The more capacity we have to be present, attuned and participate without agenda.  This means the less we make things a big deal the more we care, not less.  Don’t be swayed by the cultural story that says stress, worry and charged polarization means you care.  It’s really a disguise in our attempts to control life and not feel powerless.  Rather make things less of a big deal.  Your mind might resist it, and that’s ok.  If control, fear, worry, stress, anxiety, wanting fairness or something to turn out a certain way, rightness, validation or significance come up, it’s also ok.  It’s not about making yourself wrong, it’s simply about becoming more aware of how you do you, the ways you operate and moving more into choice about how you respond to life.  If you do this you will notice more openness to life, more acceptance, more gratitude and you will feel your freedom more.  As always don’t take my word for it.  Be your own scientist.  Try it out for yourself.  See how it works for you.  

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

ACCEPTING SUFFERING

ACCEPTING SUFFERING

Moving towards connection

One of things we least desire to do is look at or be with suffering, both our own and others.  We often do our best to avoid, not feel, stop, alleviate or eradicate it.  Understandably so.  The large majority of people do not enjoy suffering.  It does not come with pleasurable sensations, feelings and experiences.  Rather it comes with a sense of disconnection, separation, aloneness, uncomfortableness, angst, fear, restlessness, powerlessness, helplessness, terror and more.  There really is no way to make suffering rosy, soft or nice.  It’s not.  Our minds nearly automatically want to fix it, change it or make it go away because it is such an unpleasant experience.  We do our best to push away suffering because the intensity of it is so uncomfortable.  Yet despite our attempts to somehow control or manage our experience of suffering, it remains and visits our experience time and time again.

At the core of suffering is a sense or feeling of disconnection.  We develop strategies to survive and cope with disconnection and the conglomerate array of other feelings that come with it.  These strategies are called protective mechanisms.  These mechanisms allow us to not feel the full intensity of suffering that we might otherwise feel.  These strategies are smart, intelligent and well intended.  Without them we might very well not be able to function in the world.  They work by cutting us off from fully feeling or processing experiences of suffering, which then gives us the ability to participate with the other happenings of life to some degree.  Yet the effects, or perhaps downside of these mechanisms is that while we can function we often don’t feel fully alive, integrated, joyous or connected.  Protective mechanisms compartmentalize our experiences and/or completely disconnect us from certain aspects of experiencing on purpose, that is their job so to speak.  They are a good short-term survival strategy, however they don’t allow for the fullness of life to be experienced or expressed through us.

When people seek for healing it is often because they know that there is more to life than what they are experiencing.  To even begin the healing journey one’s protective mechanisms have to soften slightly in order for them to recognize that there is more going on than meets the eye.  This allows them to embark on the path.  Healing isn’t necessarily about feeling great all of time and only experiencing pleasurable sensations.  It’s about feeling whatever is present.  Sometimes that means learning how to be with uncomfortableness, aloneness, separation, terror, powerlessness, angst and the like, because this is what your protective mechanisms have been keeping at bay so that you could function.  The paradox of sorts is that as you allow those feelings to be felt it feels good in a way.  Good to no longer be keeping them outside of your experience, and no longer utilizing energy and inner resources to avoid suffering.  Though you may not feel pleasure or joy in the moment, you do feel more connected. 

SPACE OF THE HEART 

Walking towards

The more willing and able we become to feel suffering, and as we have the inner resourcefulness to do so, the less defended and more open we become.  Protective mechanisms only engage when they perceive that there is something to protect, but if you walk towards that which you’ve avoided, protection is no longer needed.  As we open to disconnection and all of the things that come with that, we open into the heart.  The heart is the natural space that always is and when we stop separating and pushing away certain parts of our experience, we naturally experience the heart.  The reason that suffering is so intense is because it is the experience of disconnection from love.  Even though disconnection from love is not possible, the experience of it is.  It’s what we call suffering.

Accepting suffering as an experience, of which we have all experienced, is fundamental to transforming your experience of it.  As long as we remain separate from suffering, we will continue to experience it.  Only once we look at it, acknowledge it, feel it and let it move us, will we be able to change our relationship with it.  Only then will we be able to feel our heart open without needing to try to make it open.  Accepting suffering is pretty much the last thing that all of your protective mechanisms want to do, yet without your protective mechanisms up and running to show of your life all you experience is love.  It’s confusing to the mind to accept that which doesn’t feel good or desirable inside of its experience, yet in the arena of healing that’s where your freedom lives.  

When we are in nonacceptance of suffering we often feel internally cold, withdrawn, frantic, disassociated, overwhelmed, distraught, heavy, stressed, alone, restricted, not belonging and wanting out even if we are living a good life.  We can be experiencing the appearance of all the good things of life, yet internally we are disconnection from the source of life itself, which is our heart.  Even though your mind will look for a million ways out of your inner experience of suffering, you won’t come up with any that can get you out despite your endless attempts.  The only direction is in.  To be impacted, to feel, to fall apart, to let your heart be broken and then to be moved.  Moved to integrate all of the pieces that fell apart into a new configuration.  That new configuration is a new relationship with your life experiences, which offers different perspectives and ways of being that can only be known through impact and acceptance of suffering.

If you’re still reading this article then kudos to you.  Suffering is the absolute hardest thing to be with and accepting it takes everything you’ve got.  Yet the gift is opening into your own heart.  That is the healing journey, back home to where you began, before you knew anything of separation or disconnection.  To be open in your heart is to be fearless and to know the power of love is stronger than anything else.

Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration